PKL Auction 2019: 5 players who could be bargain buys in Pro Kabaddi League Season 7

Can Shabeer Bapu prove his mettle?
Can Shabeer Bapu prove his mettle?

The seventh edition of the Pro Kabaddi League is only a few months away. As a curtain raiser to the mega event, the player auctions will be held on the 8th and 9th of April 2019 which will pose as an opportunity for the teams in the fray to snap up the services of some of the best players across the globe.

The retention list, which came out only a couple of weeks prior, featured some big names such as Pawan Sehrawat, Maninder Singh and Rohit Kumar but also sprung a few surprises with big names such as Rahul Chaudhari, Monu Goyat and Surender Nada missing out from claiming a spot in the list.

While the price tags on these stalwarts could have been one driving factor to release them into the auction pool, their experience and influence on the league bring with it a lot of excitement to witness which team snaps up their services.

However, in a galaxy of stars, there have been a few players who have quite often sparkled in a couple of matches but have been overshadowed by powerful performances by some other players.

Here, we take a look at five players, whose services could be expected to be a bargain purchase but could have a massive impact during the tournament.

#5 Chandran Ranjit

Chandran Ranjit
Chandran Ranjit

The dashing raider was in some scintillating form in the previous season for Dabang Delhi as he notched up a total of 153 points from 24 matches and will be yet again on the radar of many teams in this auction.

Having represented the Gujarat Fortunegiants in season five, Ranjit's performances in the fag end of the season attracted the Dabang Delhi franchise to break the bank for his services as he earned a whopping contract of ₹61.25 lakh and repaid faith instilled in him by the franchise.

With the raider also bringing out his defensive skills towards the end of the season, Ranjit will certainly be on top of the list for the 'most sought' raiders but will undoubtedly turn out to be a proven performer this season.

#4 Athul MS

Athul MS did well for the Thalaivas
Athul MS did well for the Thalaivas

The lanky Keralite was used as more of a support raider by the Tamil Thalaivas in season six after being picked for ₹9.2 lakh. While he did play under the shadows of Ajay Thakur and Sukesh Hegde, Athul MS's returns from the season, 55 points from 19 matches does indeed paint a pretty picture.

While his efficiency on the mat was often thrown under the bridge by the lack of chances to raid, Athul MS did use his height to great effect and had the best of defenders on their toes and operated under pressure with a good showing as well.

With teams looking for support raiders, Athul MS could well prove to be a good option to consider and with his tall frame his greatest weapon, the raider's proficiency on the mat could prove to be a potent strategy for the teams in the fray.

#3 Shabeer Bapu

Shabeer Bapu in action for Jaipur
Shabeer Bapu in action for Jaipur

Shabeer Bapu's journey in the Pro Kabaddi League has been one that started with a lot of hope but soon faded into the shadows.

Starting off with U Mumba in Season 1 where he collected 67 points from 10 matches, he carried his form into the second season where he played an instrumental role in U Mumba's title win with 47 points from 10 matches.

A part of the national setup, Bapu came into the league with a lot of experience and shifted to the Pink Panthers for the fourth season where he played only a handful of matches as he soon made a move back to U Mumba for the fifth season where he played 12 matches for 38 points.

With buckets of experience, Shabeer Bapu joined forces with Dabang Delhi for the sixth season but found himself warming the benches, with the likes of Naveen Kumar and Chandran Ranjit consistently performing.

For the upcoming season, Bapu does offer a lot of experience and with that a shrewd understanding of the game as well which could earn him a contract that could well bring the best out of the raider.

#2 Hadi Oshtorak

Hadi Oshtorak could be a perfect addition
Hadi Oshtorak could be a perfect addition

The Iranian provided some very crucial points for the Gujarat Fortunegiants in the previous edition of the league with his all-round show and will yet again look to make a mark with a commanding performance in the upcoming season.

A part of the Patna Pirates' title-winning squad in season three and four, Oshtorak's fearless diving from the right corner and agile raiding have often come to the fore, bringing about a unique set of celebrations whenever a point comes about for the Iranian.

While Oshtorak has not been amongst the starting seven on many occasions, the Iranian's hunger to contribute on both fronts has not gone unnoticed and good play a big role in the teams' interest to make a bid for the burly Iranian.

Bought for his base price of ₹12 lakh by the Fortunegiants, one could expect Hadi to go for a higher price but one that could certainly prove to be a top purchase for his pyrotechnics on the mat.

#1 Darshan Kadian

Darshan Kadian has been a proven performer for U Mumba
Darshan Kadian has been a proven performer for U Mumba

An agile raider who depends on his ability to turn quickly and crank up the pace, Darshan Kadian has featured in just three editions of the league but has already made a mark as a dependable raider in times of peril.

While Kadian failed to earn game time with the Patna Pirates, he was drafted into the U Mumba squad for the fifth season and did commendably well, picking up 40 points from 16 matches. In the auctions leading up to season six, U Mumba bought back the services of Kadian for just ₹12 lakh.

Featuring as the third raider behind Siddharth Desai and Rohit Baliyan, Kadian was often thrown to the wolves during the Do or Die raids and the youngster did manage to pick points, proving his might.

In the absence of Siddharth Desai and Rohit Baliyan, Darshan Kadian was given the role of the lead raider and he stood up to the task, picking up a Super-10 against Jaipur and also picking up nine points against the Bengaluru Bulls.

With enough experience from the past and a good set of performances, Kadian could well have a major part to play in the tournament.

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Edited by Alan John
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